Apple filed a third complaint against HTC with the International Trade Commission, according to a report by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. The latest complaint is based on a December 2011 ruling that says HTC infringed on two Apple patents. These “data tapping” patents let users tap on a number or URL on their phone and open up a menu with actions like “Call” and “Open in Browser.” These violations focus on the method of implementing this feature, not the feature itself.
HTC said it updated its products with a work-around that is no longer infringing, but this new complaint disputes that claim. In its filing, Apple argues that HTC’s latest handsets still violate these “data tapping” patents. It lists 29 phones including the flagship HTC One X, Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G LTE and the upcoming HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE for Verizon.
The ITC will now look closely at HTC’s current crop of Android phones and could order an injunction that would ban the import of these phones. Last month, select HTC phones were held at the border by US Customs per an earlier ITC injunction. The handsets were later released after HTC assured the government agency that these products were not infringing.